Going for gold: Fuengirola athlete Kelly’s dreams for Invictus Games

a team of athletes for the invictus games

Fuengirola resident Kelly will lead as Vice-Captain in the Invictus Games this September. Photo credit: Kelly McVitty (via email)

ONE remarkable Fuengirola resident, Kelly Mcvitty, is defying all odds as she sets her sights on the ultimate challenge: competing in the prestigious Invictus Games.

Kelly’s journey to the Invictus Games is an inspiring tale of resilience, determination, and the unwavering spirit of a true warrior.

Rochdale-born Kelly joined the Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service in 2003 where she went on to specialise as a critical care nursing looking after people on life support.

While serving in Afghanistan as a critical care nurse, Kelly’s life took a drastic turn when she suffered a devastating nerve injury after an ambulance she was working in made an emergency stop which caused a nerve injury in the left upper side of her body.

Despite the challenges, Kelly persevered, undergoing surgery and enduring a long and arduous recovery process. Sadly, in 2020, she was medically discharged from the military, losing not only her job but also her identity as a critical care nurse.

The transition back to civilian life was far from easy, leaving her feeling adrift and hopeless. However, an unexpected glimmer of hope emerged when she stumbled upon an advertisement for the Invictus Games, an event that would change the course of her life.

The Invictus Games is an event that showcased adaptive sports for wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women. The event was conceived by Prince Harry in 2014 and aims to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and demonstrate life beyond disability.

With unwavering determination, Kelly embarked on a rigorous training regime, pushing her physical and mental boundaries. Overcoming the challenges that came with her ongoing recovery and pain from her injury she found solace and purpose in the demanding workouts, effectively managing her PTSD and ongoing pain along the way.

Despite facing plenty of obstacles to training, including a trauma birth in 2019 which excluded her from competition, Kelly has continued to train and maintain her fitness levels in athletics, swimming and cycling.

Inspired by her fellow athletes’ determination in the Invictus Games Hague 2020, Kelly resolved to seize her opportunity at the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023. After attending trials, she received the life-changing news in January 2023 that she had once again been selected.

Kelly was recently named as Vice Captain for Team UK, a great honour that symbolises her exceptional leadership and resilience. She has now set her sights on a medal at this year’s Invictus Games and is ramping up the preparations in the meantime.

Today, Kelly continues to train swimming, running and cycling each week in Fuengirola. Kelly is currently preparing with unwavering determination for the Invictus Games set to take place in Dusseldorf from Saturday, September 9.

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